REMAINING IN CHRIST
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Jesus repeated the word REMAIN seven times. Jesus uses this illustration of vine and the gardener to continue his teaching for his disciples on the importance of staying connected to him as the source of life. The connection of the branch to the tree has an expectation that it will be nourished and bear fruits. There is an expectation of fruitfulness. But that fruitfulness is not about the branch itself but about the Father’s glory. It bring the Father glory when there is a fruit bearing life. True fruitfulness as a follower of Jesus will happen when we are connected to Christ the vine and we allow the gardener, to prune and work in our lives.
The purpose of pruning is to give the branch MORE FRUIT, and not only that pruning will give the branch MUCH FRUIT. To show myself as Jesus’ disciple, I must bear MUCH FRUIT, that will bring glory to the Father. Jesus said, APART FROM ME, YOU CAN DO NOTHING. All my growth and fruitfulness comes from Christ. He takes care of me so I can me fruitful under his care.
Jesus also emphasized the importance of his word. His word WASH US AND CLEANSE US when it is spoken over us. Jesus’ words have the power to cause growth in my life. I am able to REMAIN in Christ through HIS WORD. God uses his word to cleanse and wash me as I hear it and respond to it. There is no way I as a believer can grow in such a way that brings glory to the Father in my own strength. It is God word that does the pruning. It is God’s word that works in me to bear fruits for the purpose of glorifying his name. For God is working in me, giving me the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
God is the one that is working the growth in me and giving me the desire and the power that gives him glory. Jesus said, APART FROM ME, I CAN DO NOTHING that glorifies the Father. Abide, remain, not matter what happens in life. Jesus continues to comfort his disciples as he encourages them never to give in when hard times come. People who do not remain in God’s word, will never see growth in life nor bear the kind of fruit that brings joy to the Father.
I so grateful for the reminder here from Jesus to me as a disciple. I want to continue to make God’s word a joy in life. I pray that his word will continue to wash me from the filth of my own efforts to bear fruits that does not glorify the Father. I choose to abide and remain in Christ always so I may bear the fruits that glorifies the Father. I allow the Father to prune me as he sees fit for his glory.
Jesus, I am grateful for your word today. I thank you that you care for my fruitfulness as I walk with you. I pray that you continue to lead and guide me in ways that reflects the glory of the Father. I ask that you help me to stay connected, remain and abide in you no matter what life throws at me. I know it is so easy to fall away from truth in your word. Please wash me and cleanse me daily with your word, I pray. Amen!